Bowdoin College 52 Harpswell Road


credits: Blind Dog Photography

Project Name

Bowdoin College 52 Harpswell Road

This recently completed renovation of a former retirement home into a modern residence hall for 35 Bowdoin College students was awarded a LEED Gold. Bowdoin College purchased the two-story residence formerly known as the Stevens Retirement Home to be renovated to accommodate 35 students in 20 rooms. The original structure was built in 1860 with substantial additions in 1940 and 2000. While much of the original structure remains, required improvements included significant upgrades to shared spaces such as the kitchen, dining room, bathrooms, activity room and study spaces to make them efficient and accessible to all student populations.

The conversion involved creating common spaces with flexible furniture to encourage social interaction, allow for quiet study, and celebrate student diversity. The renovations created a durable, safe and efficient environment, but one that is also homey and comfortable as well. The enhancements addressed ADA and life safety code requirements for converting the former boarding home into modern student housing, as well as adding new sustainable building systems and updating major building systems including heating, ventilation, power, lighting and communications infrastructures.

The Bowdoin College Organic Garden was also been relocated to the property, taking advantage of the existing barn structure for Garden operations. This new location provides increased campus community involvement with the garden and the opportunity to understand how food is grown through the seasons.

This project features several sustainable initiatives including insulation and new windows; regionally manufactured interior materials with high recycled content; pine benches and wainscoting in the corridors were constructed with repurposed material which originally served as spectator seating in the former Dayton Ice Arena (1956); photovoltaic solar panels to help offset electricity requirements; energy efficient lighting and low flow water fixtures; conversion of heating fuel from oil to natural gas; and native and water efficient landscaping.

Architecture or A/E Firm Name

Harriman Architects + Engineers


Mark Lee, AIA, LEED AP


Mark Lee, AIA LEED AP, Principal; Eric Potvin, Designer; Kathryn Austin, Designer; David Reinheimer, PE, Mechanical Engineer; Peter Arnold, Electrical Designer; Richard Marchessault, Plumbing and Fire Protection Designer


Thornton Thomasetti, LEED Documentation; Stephen Stimson Associates, Landscape Design


52 Harpswell Road, Brunswick, Maine


Bowdoin College

General Contractor

Wright Ryan Construction